Ditheko Mototo says although Bloemfontein Celtic will be looking to use the game against Kaizer Chiefs to turn their fortunes around, they should expect a tough battle against the title chasers. The Amakhosi face Phunya Sele Sele in the Absa Premiership encounter to be played at the FNB Stadium on Saturday (20:15), as the battle for three points intensifies with less than 10 matches remaining for most teams.
While second-placed Chiefs will be eager to continue cutting down the gap between them and the log-leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, Celtic on the other hand, will be looking to amend their season and the former defender believes it is going to be a tough encounter.
“It's that time of the season where other teams are now picking up themselves and for us we started very well, got points early, but we've slightly dropped. But the recent recess gave us more time to work on certain aspects of our game going forward. I'm hopeful this weekend the guys will do us proud," the former Chiefs and Celtic man told Dumelang Sport. 'Tiger' believes both sides play a similar style of football, though with much quicker transition compared to during his times at both clubs.
But he is expecting them to dish out an exciting football despite the match anticipated to be an uphill battle. He added: "The game is going to be so tough that standard situation/set pieces will prove vital. That's what can actually decide the match.So the team that's going to put focus on that will likely win." Amakhosi are on a nine-match unbeaten streak in all competition while Celtic have endured a poor run recently with two wins from their last seven matches in all competitions this year.
Celtic have only registered one league win so far this year, which was achieved on home soil, but their last away one was back in October. Mototo lamented inconsistency, but is confident their recent cup win against Supersport United has gave them much needed confidence.
The last encounter between Chiefs and Celtic at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein ended in a 1-all draw while the two have also seen one win and three draws come out of the four matches they have played since 2016. In those matches, Chiefs managed three goals and Celtic only one while the latter failed to score in their two away matches, which ended in a goalless draw. The men from the City of Roses, who occupy the 12th spot, find themselves three points away from the top eight spot.